Link 16 Tactical Data Links

Tactical Data Links (TDL) provide enhanced situational awareness and increase the speed of the decision-making process, making them integral to enabling information advantage at all levels. Despite the proliferation of multiple data sources, gateways, and dissemination mediums, the Link 16 Tactical Data Links remains the resilient bearer of choice on the battlefield with its utility in connecting government and civilian agencies increasing.

Metrea has designed and delivered Link 16 solutions to a variety of customers across the Air, Land, and Maritime domains. We combine the expertise of our TDL software and systems engineers with the operational experience of our ISR Division personnel to deliver innovative, bespoke solutions that provide cost-effective capabilities to our customers.

End-to-End Solution

Metrea provides complete end-to-end TDL solutions: from the initial requirements phase, to provision of the TDL terminals and ancillaries, and to platform installation, certification, and commissioning. Our products and services include:

  • Modular L16 software solutions countering low size, weight and power constraints
  • Multi-link planning tools for complex systems
  • Cost-effective Walk on Walk off Link 16 Systems
  • Suite of end-to-end test, evaluation, verification, and validation tools including Link16 terminals (Viasat STT and BATS-D)

  • Synthetic L16 capabilities to support the Live Virtual Constructive training environment
  • Link 16 software interfaces into platform mission systems and dismounted user devices
  • Multi-TDL training and consultancy services

Spectral Products and Services

Designed by our in-house software development team, our Spectral suite of modular applications delivers affordable, flexible multi-domain Link 16 capabilities across the live and synthetic environments. We exploit Agile software development which ensures that our products are rapidly adapted to harness new technology and integrate with third party sensors and mission systems.



With its modular configuration, Spectral Link is capable of satisfying the most demanding Link 16 requirements: from large, multi-sensor platforms down to the dismounted user overcoming traditional size, weight, and power constraints. Link runs on Commercial Off-The-Shelf (COTS) Windows-based PCs and hand-held devices and can be supported on other operating systems like Linux and Android. A key Link application is Spectral IO, a terminal host system that can translate between legacy and crypto-modernized Link 16 terminal interfaces to reduce cost and time for adaptation to host and combat systems. Link has additional modules including a situational awareness HMI and processor, free text messaging module, datalink processor and track database, GPS navigation, data recording and playback, terminal controller, and an initialization data preparation facility. This unique modularity enables customers to customize applications and minimize cost.



Spectral SIM provides the ability to create complex tactical scenarios that can be played out over the live Link 16 network, enhancing the LVC simulated environment. These scenarios can also be played as part of a rehearsal prior to full mission execution, as well as providing simulated surveillance track. Link 16 JTIDS Units (JUs), Spectral SIM’s Message Editor, also allows the operator to create any Link 16 message from the ATDLP5.16 catalogue for release onto the training network, allowing for the most complex scenarios to be created. Spectral SIM can be delivered as part of an end-to-end Spectral Link TDL system, provided as a standalone application, or can be integrated into an existing TDL system.



Spectral Plan provides the first multi-link planning tool designed to quickly and accurately develop a validated multi-link architecture. The comprehensive, configurable library of platform and network profiles enable the core architecture to be created rapidly which can then be easily amended to meet the specific operational requirements. A range of automated analysis and validation features enable the operator to quickly establish the operational effectiveness of the proposed architecture and maximize the operational benefits of the datalinks deployed.



Spectral Task delivers a complete solution for creating, reviewing and validating any Message Text Format (MFT) signal. MTF signals are an essential part of the coordination, planning and management of operational activities. Ensuring that these MTF signals are correctly generated and validated is key to accurate information exchange and mission success. Providing an intuitive, operator friendly HMI, Spectral Task highlights and removes the errors from MTF signals generated locally or imported from external organizations, removing this labor intensive and time-consuming burden from the planning staff.



Spectral Test is our Tactical Data Link Test, Evaluation, Verification, and Validation service encompassing a comprehensive array of engineering assurance and operational evaluation testing capability. The service is deployable and scalable, comprised of specialist personnel, a proven process, world class simulation tools, and our own Link 16 terminals (Viasat STT and BATS-D) enabling live, over-the-air testing. By providing a flexible and cost-effective service, Spectral Test enables our customers to financially de-risk their Link 16 solutions, increasing confidence of successful delivery and operational evaluation.



The cost, complexity and security issues of delivering realistic training for contemporary armed forces is driving a push towards the Live, Virtual and Constructive (LVC) training model.  MMD has leveraged its TDL expertise by combining Spectral Sim with our organic, Link 16 terminals to configure a self-contained, deployable LVC capability that enables our customers to achieve the optimum live and synthetic training balance across the Air, Land and Maritime domains. Our Spectral LVC service enables connection to the live Link 16 network which can be used purely as a situational awareness capability in an operations room or C2 node and, by exploiting all the capabilities of Spectral Sim, our customer is able to pre-design complex scenarios which can then deliver synthetic tracks, other Link 16 units and a range of other simulated tactical data into the live Link 16 network.  Real-time dynamic manipulation of the tactical scenario enables a highly effective White Force capability in any location. Friendly or enemy platforms and entities can be replaced by synthetic tracks expanding the limits of traditional training increasing depth, realism and complexity whilst reducing cost. Spectral LVC will enable you to achieve the best training possible for an increasingly complex and challenging future battlespace.


Our Stack of TDL Capabilities

  • Level 0 - Design and Architect
  • Level 2 - Build and Engineer
  • Level 4 - Operate and Sustain

Level 0 - Design and Architect

Utilizing Metrea’s deep architectural understanding of user and TDL system requirements, Metrea designed a suite of software applications that aid in the planning, initialization, and operation of TDL networks. Our design services combine extensive expertise in the initialization and implementation of TDL networks with the digital technologies and automated data interactions to drive ‘machine-speed’ mission effects throughout the electromagnetic domain.

Learn More about Level 0

Level 2 - Build and Engineer

Spectral, our proprietary software, was built to be a customizable and tailorable solution for our partners. Metrea can also develop bespoke software interfaces to disseminate data down from sensors to TDL hardware and back up from TDL hardware to users/analytics systems.

The Spectral platform was built for all our partners in mind, no matter what the concern, for their unique concerns.

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Level 4 - Operate and Sustain

Metrea aims to provide unique TDL solutions, either through integration or consultancy, for partners of all shapes and sizes. We work with our individual partners to help craft a custom-tailored solution for their unique problem-set and system. We continue to work with our partners to ensure that their systems are fully online and continue to fulfill their needs.

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Adaptation, Accelerated.

Interested in what Metrea can do for you? Please get in touch.